National Police Checks

On this page:

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) can only provide National Police Checks for:

  • residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Jervis Bay Territory and external Commonwealth territories
  • people seeking employment with the Commonwealth Government
  • people requiring a check under Commonwealth legislation
  • Australian immigration purposes
  • where the applicant resides overseas
  • overseas employment
  • overseas adoption
  • visa applications for overseas travel.

All other applicants should contact the Criminal Records section of their relevant State or Territory police service.

Fingerprint checks

Fingerprint checks may only be conducted where there is a legal or regulatory requirement for such a check to be conducted. Your fingerprints will be checked against a central database of records and will take additional time to process. An additional cost is also associated with this service, see fees below.

Where a fingerprint check is required, it is your responsibility to obtain a full set of fingerprints from your local police jurisdiction. The original of the fingerprints must be posted with your completed application form. Please note that fingerprints taken using a "Livescan" system cannot be accepted.

Applicants in the ACT requiring fingerprints should make a booking to have their fingerprints taken by telephoning the ACT Fingerprint Hotline on 02 6245 7351. Please note that this applies to applicants in the ACT only.

Application completion guide

You have two options for submitting your application:

  • Online;
  • A downloadable form which you may complete on your computer or print for completion by hand and submit via the post. As credit card details must not be submitted by email, emailed applications will not be accepted.

Before submitting an application you should ensure you are in a group to which the AFP provides National Police Checks, as detailed above, and that you have read and understand the Spent Convictions Scheme and how it applies to your application.

The following requirements must be met when submitting an AFP National Police Check (NPC) application. Failure to meet the required standards will result in the application not being processed.

  1. All other names by which you are known or have previously been known (such as your maiden name), must be provided in full, including given names. Check that your date of birth is correctly entered.
  2. Full payment must accompany the application. You can pay using either Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Alternatively, for a manually completed application you may pay by bank cheque, which must be in Australian dollars, or money order obtainable from Australia Post. Personal and Company Cheques will not be accepted. Please do NOT send cash. Applications with incorrect amounts will not be processed.
  3. Copies of identification documents totaling 100 points must be provided. Details of the points attributed to identification documents are provided as part of the application process. DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS WITH YOUR APPLICATION.
  4. Ensure all the necessary details are submitted, including signed consent and copies of identification documents. Please note parental consent will be required if the applicant is under 18 years of age.
  5. For manually completed applications:
  • You must submit the form no more than three months after signing it.
  • Mark the appropriate check boxes with a cross (X).
  • Ensure you secure all paperwork, forms, payment, and identification to your application.
  • Ensure all the necessary details have been completed and the form is signed and dated.
  • The application form must be completed using block letters (ie capital/uppercase)
  • Bank cheques and money orders are to be in Australian dollars ($AUD) and are to be made payable to the Australian Federal Police.
  • If paying by bank cheque it must be from an Australian bank or financial institution affiliated with an Australian bank. Personal and Company cheques will not be accepted.
  • The correct payment must be included with all applications.
  • Do not include self-addressed/stamped envelopes for return of certificates. These will not be used or returned.

Submitting Your Application

Online Application

The Online Application provides the ability to submit a complete application electronically. In using this facility you will be required to print and load a scanned consent form which will be generated during the process as well as scan and load identification documents and make payment by credit card. Processing will then commence immediately without the need to wait for further information. If using the online application you need to nominate an email address. This will be used to send you a receipt for your payment and to advise you once processing of your application has been completed.

Please note that you must use the consent form generated during the online process. The downloadable application is not suitable for this process and must not be used if applying online.

Downloadable Application

If you prefer to use the downloadable application, the completed form along with copies of your nominated identity documents and correct payment, must be posted to:

Australian Federal Police,
Criminal Records
Locked Bag 8550

CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601

As credit card details must not be submitted by email, emailed applications will not be accepted.

Similarly, if submitting an application that involves a fingerprint check for which hardcopy "ink" prints have been obtained, submission must be by post to the above address.

Application portal

Access the online application or downloadable PDF application through the AFP's application portal

Fees

The fees for National Police Checks and related services are:

  • $42.00 for each National Police Check application from a government department or an individual.
  • $42.00 for each National Police Check application from a non-government organisation (eg: commercial entities like brokers, migration agents etc)
  • $139.00 for a fingerprint and National Police Check application, where fingerprints are taken and processed by the AFP.
  • $99.00 for a fingerprint and National Police Check application where fingerprints are supplied to the AFP on application.

National Police Certificates

Certificates issued by the Australian Federal Police are printed on secure paper. This secure paper is now used nationally by all Australian Police Services.

Sample Certificate (PDF, 400KB)

The paper has a number of security features including:

  • a watermark consisting of multiple images of a padlock with two keys which is visible when held up to the light
  • fluorescent tricolour threads on both sides of the document glow blue, yellow and red when held under ultra violet light
  • a border to the right of the police logos on the front of the document is printed in MICROTYPE which can be read when viewed under magnification
  • images on the front are printed in heat sensitive ink and, when moderate heat or friction is applied, they will fade or disappear momentarily
  • hidden images printed in fluorescent ink and will glow yellow when viewed under ultra violet light
  • screened background printed in solvent reactive ink

Processing times

The current processing time for a routine National Police Check is approximately 15 working days from the date it is received by Criminal Records. Please be aware that processing times for National Police Checks may vary as the AFP may need to seek information from other police jurisdictions.

Current processing times for Fingerprint Checks is approximately 30 working days from the date received by Criminal Records.

We recommend that you allow sufficient time for processing and return by postal services before making inquiries regarding your application.

Provision of false or misleading information

You are asked to certify that the personal information you have provided on the completed application form is correct. If it is subsequently discovered, for example as a result of a check of police records, that you have provided false or misleading information, or omitted to provide information that resulted in the application being false or misleading, you will have committed an offence against the Criminal Code Act 1995 and may be prosecuted.

It should be noted that the AFP does not assess or adjudicate your application but merely provides information to the prospective employer/authority to assist in their assessment.

Disputed record enquiries

If you believe the information provided on your National Police Certificate is incorrect or inaccurate in any detail please complete a Disputed Record form (PDF, 50KB). If you have any additional information or documents supporting your enquiry they should be attached to your Disputed Record Form to enable the AFP to more accurately assess your application. The AFP may require comparison fingerprints to resolve some disputes. In such instances applicants will be notified.

Privacy Statement

The Privacy Commissioner is responsible for ensuring the protection of private information relating to individuals. This includes investigating instances where information has been released improperly or incorrectly. An individual who believes the standards dealing with disclosure and use of old conviction information have been breached may apply to the Privacy Commissioner for an investigation of the matter. The telephone number is 1300 363 992.

Contact us

Criminal Records - National Police Check AFP Criminal Records
Locked Bag 8550
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
Ph:(02) 6140 6502
Email Criminal Records